The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has launched a new website to support a proposed change that would strengthen drink driving penalties in Ireland.
The Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2017 proposes a change to the penalties for drivers caught with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels between 50mg and 80mg. The bill does not propose to change Ireland’s drink drive limits. Under the proposed legislation, drink driving offences committed at BAC levels between 50mg and 80mg will incur an automatic disqualification of three months instead of the current penalty of a €200 fine and three penalty points.
“The website [drinkdriversdestroylives.ie] has been developed to provide the public, elected representatives and the media access to facts in relation to drink driving,” said RSA Chief Executive Moyagh Murdock. “It has also been created to counter the myths, and distorted facts that have been put into the public arena by vested interest groups and individuals. Interest groups that have ignored the pleas of victims’ families to support the introduction of the new measures and turned the perpetrators of drink driving offences into victims. The proposed change in legislation increases the penalties so offenders will lose their licence at a lower alcohol level than currently. This is vital if we are to have an effective deterrent that changes the behaviour of the small group of people in this country who continue to drink and drive.”
The new website has been welcomed by Shane Ross, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport.
“Astonishingly, many vested interest groups and their supporters continue to deny the factual evidence about drink driving, turn their faces away from the traumatic experiences of road traffic victims and more specifically, distort information which proves that this legislation needs to be introduced,” he said. “I urge politicians, publicans and the general public to access this user friendly site, inform themselves of the facts, support this bill and help to save lives on our roads.”